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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Getting to Know Hawaii: Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail


The Need to Knows:
  • The Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail is located off Kalanianaole Hwy (Hwy 72) in between Hawaii Kai and Waimanalo here:



  • It's open everyday from 7 AM to 6:30 PM.
  • Parking is available as soon as you turn onto Makapu'u Lighthouse Road and is free, but keep in mind it is limited and tends to fill up quickly so plan accordingly.
  • There are no restrooms here, but there are trash cans available.
  • If I remember correctly, the hike takes about 2 hours or so roundtrip, depending on your fitness level.
  • Bring plenty of sunscreen, water, and a hat because it can get very hot and there isn't shade here.  I'd also recommend leaving your slippers in the car and opting for comfy sneakers.
  • This hike is stroller and dog friendly, but just make sure the pavement doesn't get too hot for your pooch's paws!


  • It's been awhile since Mr. L and I have done this hike (over a year now, geez!  It's time to go back soon!) but it's still definitely worth blogging about.  Makapu'u is a pleasant, paved hike (some people would call it a walk instead) that leads up to a lovely little lighthouse.  You can't actually get to the lighthouse itself, but you do get a great view of it and the gorgeous coastline once you make it to the top.






    You start out in the parking lot below and then begin your ascent to the top.  It's a pretty gradual incline, and since there is no shade on this hike, make sure you pack your sunscreen, hats, and water.  You'll need it!  We went around lunchtime and could already feel the effects of the heat.

    Looking back down the paved path towards the parking lot and Hwy 72
    Beautiful Ka'iwi coastline with Koko Head in the distance

    Some of the flora along the trail

    If you do this trail during the winter and spring months (typically December through April or May), you may be lucky enough to spot some humpback whales.  We were when we went on this hike, and it was awesome to just sit and watch them play in the ocean, even if I wasn't able to get any pictures.  Be sure to bring binoculars just in case!


    Also, when you reach the sign pictured above, be sure to look below you at the Makapu'u tide pools.  If you're careful, it's possible to make your way down to them and take a dip.  Just make sure the ocean isn't raging too badly before you go in!



    When you make it to the top, you'll be rewarded with a stunning stretch of Oahu coastline from Makapu'u Beach Park, Waimanalo Beach, and Bellows Beach all the way to the Marine Corps Base Hawaii.  If it's a clear day, you may also be able to catch a glance of Molokai, Lanai, or even Maui!






    You'll also be able to see the lighthouse, of course!  It isn't too terribly big, but it still makes for some pretty pictures.




    After you soak in your views, you can attempt to be like Mr. L and his friend Joe and try to keep climbing to the pillboxes up above.  Just watch your footing!



    After they reached the top, they found out there was actually a makeshift trail up to the pillboxes from the other side where the overlook is, haha.  They were fine with forging their own path though!

    If you're looking for a relatively easy hike with a huge payoff in terms of gorgeous views, you may want to take some time to check out Makapu'u.  You won't regret it!


    6 comments:

    1. I love this hike! Stroller friendly, too, if you don't mind the added workout!

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      1. It's beautiful there! We're hopefully doing the hike to the Kaiwi Shoreline this weekend -- almost Makapu'u but not quite! We''ll definitely have to head back and do it again though.

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    2. I love the picture of the ocean with the sun spot, love love. =]

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      1. Thank you! It stayed like that pretty much the whole hike. It was beautiful!

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    3. This hike is gorgeous! I've done it like 5 times in the 6 months we've been here. lol I was even thinking of doing it again in the morning, because the thought of going to the gym on Friday was dragging me down!

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      1. Haha, sounds like you really love it!! I definitely have to go back soon =)

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